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The Lexington ATC was NOT doing traffic count after he cleared Comair 5191 for takeoff.

Last post 06-13-2016, 10:42 PM by newstart028. 7 replies.
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  •  01-27-2007, 7:57 PM 3988

    The Lexington ATC was NOT doing traffic count after he cleared Comair 5191 for takeoff.

     
     
    To Whom It May Concern:
     
    The FAA has told us that the lone controller at Lexington tower turned his back on Comair 191 and was busy with "administrative duties, traffic count" after he cleared Comair191  for takeoff while it was on the wrong runway.  Initially, he  admitted seeing Comair on the wrong runway and later changed his testimony.. 
     
    The FAA released the tapes the other day and I downloaded it from their site at....
     
    If you download the ATC Communications audio (MP3) tape there and play it, you can hear Diane English, an FAA employee,  say she made the tape from 0944 Coordinated Universal Time - 1026 Coordinated Universal Time on August 27, 2006. The accident occurred  at 1006 Coordinated Universal Time.
     
    If you want to understand what happened,  download the tape and play it while you read the following information....
     
    At 06:52 into the tape, Comair 191 calls clearance delivery for his clearance to Atlanta.
     
    Christopher Damron, operating initials CD, the lone controller, was working four positions.  (1) Flight data/clearance delivery(FD/CD) where he had to contact center and transmit clearances to aircraft on one frequency,  (2) Ground Control (GC) where he had to issue taxi clearance and watch taxiing aircraft on ramp and taxiways on another frequency,  Local Control (LC) where he had to watch aircraft on the runway and in the traffic pattern in the control zone out to five mile radius on a third frequency,  and Radar Departure Control (DC) where he had to give heading to fly for arrivals and departures below 10,000 ft. on a fourth frequency.  This is not too much to handle if things fall in a staggered sequence, but when you get busy, someone has to wait. You can't talk on four frequencies at once or talk to ten aircraft at once.  In the business, it's called going "Down the tubes". During the day, all these positions are manned and in addition the local control position can be split between two controllers.  There is a supervisor and cab coordinator (CC) also who monitor all positions to insure safe operations. I have a photo I took a LGB where you can see ten controllers in the tower cab.
     
    As you listen to the tape, you will see that CD doesn't have a lot of time to catch his breath in the minutes before Comair is cleared for takeoff.  After that, he has nothing to do.  He let his guard down. These times show it to some degrees but his transmissions are sometimes lengthy and there is little time between each transmission.
     
    At 06:58, CD issues Comair his clearance to ATL and..
    At. 07:12 Comair reads back the clearance and admits he missed his arrival route into ATL. CD had to spell it out for him.
     
    At  13:30 CD makes a blanket broadcast that the ATIS has changed to Bravo and the new altimeter setting is 30.00.
     
    At 13:54, the controller, operating initials Charley Delta, calls ARTCC.  He doesn't key his microphone while dialing (old rotary pulse phone) but has to key in to talk to center at 13:58. That is when you hear CD breathing and  the music in the background from the radio. He unkeys his mike at 14:05 and the music can no longer be heard.  We hear it again at 14:09 when he keys in.  ARTCC hasn't come up on the line so the music can only be in the tower cab. At 14:08, ARTCC comes on the line and CD requests a release on Skywest 6819. Center releases him and CD gives his initials and hangs up at 14:12.  The music stops at that time.
     
    At 16:04 into the tape, Comair 191 advises he is about to push back.
    At 16:09, ATC responds Roger, advise ready for taxi.
    At 16:11, Comair says Roger.
     
    At  16:32 into the tape,  Eagleflight 882 calls for taxi and at 16:43 he taxis him to RWY22.
    At 17:26, Skywest 6819 calls for takeoff clearance at RWY22 
    At 17:30, ATC says Thanks, turn right heading 270, Runway 22, cleared for takeoff.  Since there was only one active runway, it is not required that ATC specify the runway when issuing takeoff clearance.
    At 17:35, Skywest 6819 acknowledges cleared for takeoff.
     
    At 18:33, Eagle 882 calls ready for departure
    At 18:36, ATC replies, Eagle 882, roger, hold short.
    At 18:40, Eagle  882 acknowledges, Hold short of the runway.
     
    At 18:57, Comair 191 advises he is ready for taxi instructions and states that he  has Alpha.   At 13:30 the ATIS changed to Bravo and he was not aware that the ATIS had changed .This means he has listened to the Airport Terminal Information Service (ATIS) on a separate frequency which gives him the active runway, winds, altimeter setting, and other NOTAMS (Notice To Airman)  about taxiway closures, instrument approach outages, lights out of service, etc.  You can also hear it on the phone, as well.  In the government pages of the white pages, it's under Transportation, Department of, FAA, ATIS.  To his credit, CD caught this and re-issued and winds and altimeter to Comair.
     
    At 19:02, Comair 191 acknowledges that he is to taxi to rwy 22.
    At 19:09, CD clears Eagle 882 for takeoff
    At 19:11 CD calls radar contact on Skywest 6819 and gives him further instrutions.
     
    At 20:27, CD calls radar contact on Eagle 882 and gives clearance to 10,000FT.
     
    At 20:48 CD goes on the land line and dials center (ARTCC).
    At 20:55 CD again keys his mike and we hear the music.  While waiting for center, Skywest 6819 can be heard on the speaker in the background saying he is passing 10,000ft.and requesting a turn to 300 degrees to avoid weather.  CD approves his request  and immediately center comes on the line and CD request a release on Comair.  He had to be watching Comair approaching the approach end of the short runway because he call for the release in advance of him arriving at runway 22.
     
     
    At 21:09 CD keys his mike and again we hear the music and hear him tapping the flight progress strip for Comair191 on the console. He asked center for a release on Comair and center issues the release, CD gives his initials and hangs up the line.
     
    He immediately calls another sector and requests the 300 heading for Skywest 6819 to "get around some weather", but he had already approved the turn for Skywest. 
     
    At 21:19, CD tells Skywest 6819 to contact center.
    At 21:23 Skywest acknowledges the frequency change.
     
    At 21:25 CD gives Eagle 882 a new heading
    At 21:30 Eagle882 acknowledges the turn.
     
    At 22:07 Comair 121 transmits that he is ready to go.
     
    At 22:10 CD says Comair 191, Lexington Tower, fly runway heading, cleared for takeoff.
     
    If Comair 191 is at the approach end of the wrong runway, he is nowhere near runway 22.  In an interview CD acknowledges that he saw Comair 191 on the wrong runway and NOT on the taxiway to runway 22, but 30 minutes later changed his testimony. 
     
    At 22:14 Comair acknowledged fly runway heading, cleared for takeoff.
     
    CD immediately focuses back on Eagle 882 and ...
     
    At 22:17 CD asked Eagle 882 if the heading he gave him worked for him or did he want a further turn to the northwest of the weather that's ahead of him.
     
    At 22:23 Eagle 882 says "That looks fantastic, thank you very much"
     
    CD missed the response and...
     
    At 22:25 CD transmits  "Say again, please"  to Eagle 882, while Comair is rolling on the wrong runway.  He is NOT doing traffic count as the FAA is telling us.
     
    At 22:26, Eagle882 repeats "This heading looks great,
     
    At 22:30, CD is probably looking at the radar scope as he is talking to Eagle 882 and giving him a frequency change to center.
     
    This is 16 seconds after he cleared Comair for takeoff and he hasn't seen him rolling on the wrong runway. He was supposed to scan his runway when he cleared him for takeoff and should have noticed him on the wrong runway. He claimed he did see him on the wrong runway but said nothing to him and didn't cancel his takeoff clearance. 
     
    It's odd that a station agent for American Eagle saw Comair on the wrong runway, but the controller claims he saw nothing,..... eventually.
     
    Here's the articles...
     
     
    and..
     
     
    In this second article, it states....
     
    Damron told investigators that he did not know the plane had taken off from the wrong runway until a union official, who had reviewed radar data, told him. If Comair would have taken off on the right runway, he would have contacted tower on departure and CD would have issued radar contact. CD should have been at the radar scope waiting for Comairs call instead of doing the traffic count. 
     
    According to the other tape I downloaded at the FAA site at...
     
     
     this one labeled..
     
    ATC Phone Call to Fire and Rescue audio (MP3)*
     
     CD pulled the crash phone and reported the aircraft crash, (an Alert III ) at 06:29 into the tape.
     
    Again,  the crash phone recording was narrated by Diane English.  The tape runs from 1002 CUT-1013CUT on August 27, 2006
     
    That means that CD pulls the hook at 1008:30 CUT.    That is about 2 1/2 minutes after the crash. Traffic count doesn't take 2 1/2 minutes to perform.  The accident occurred at about 1006 CUT.  CD had to be doing something else for that other two minutes.  What could he have been doing for all that time?  Maybe he took the clipboard over to the radio to change stations.  He wouldn't have gone to the bathroom when he was expecting a call from Comair.
     
    He tells the crash crew that the aircraft is off the approach end of runway 8. That is the departure end of runway 26.  80 plus 180 degrees is 260, BUT then he tells the crash crew the aircraft took off of runway 22.  I can't understand how he thought Comair took off runway 22 and ended up off the departure end of runway 26.  If he took off of 22, he would have had to go off the right side of runway 22 before he got halfway down the runway. 
     
    If there would have been a second controller working the radar scope, CD could have been watching his runway a lot closer, but that is no excuse when the runway is the primary responsibility. CD wasn't focusing on his primary responsibility, the runway, but let his attention focus  in the wrong direction dealing with radar traffic in the air. Traffic count had nothing to do with this accident.
     
    CD had three departures in a short period of time with a lot of coordination with ARTCC.  He is listening to music in the background. If he did the traffic count when he was finished talking with Eagle882, Comair was at the departure end of runway 26 or colliding into the trees off the departure end. Comair crashed before he started the traffic count.   He should have seen it happening. CD should have been watching his runway. Aircraft in the air pose little threat to safety compared to ones on the runway.
     
    CD never did tell us why he wasn't looking at the radar scope and telling Comair that he had radar contact on him. He should have been wondering why no radar target showed up at the departure end on runway 22. The traffic count scenario is just smoke and mirrors.   
     
    Today, I read an article about the FAA refusing to have weather band radios in the control towers siting it would be a distration. Here's the article....
     
     
    According to a spokeswoman from the FAA, the decision to pull the radios seeks to limit distractions for controllers and ensure safe operation of the airspace.
     
    We  had a radio with a cd player in the tower cab at MYF and we used to bring our own cd's to work and listen to them while working traffic.  Once at LGB tower, we had a portable TV in the tower cab watching a football game and I forgot to take it home when the tower closed.  The next morning, the chief saw it and demanded to know who's it was.  I confessed and he chewed my butt until I promised him it would never happen again.
     
     
    Traffic count should be done on the hour and is a secondary function.  The crash occurred at about 6 minutes after the hour. Six minutes prior to the accident, CD was busy with Eagle882 ready for departure.  Traffic count is not important. CD had three departures and all he had to do was write down 0-2-0-0-0 on a clipboard to complete the traffic count, Takes all of two seconds.  Comair was on the wrong runway for close to 25 seconds.
     
    Here is some inside information for the layman, you don't have to turn your back on the runway to do traffic count.  You read the numbers off the counter in front of you and put them on a clipboard, again, in front of you. He should have been watching his radar scope when Comair was no longer on the runway, again in front of him.  There is NO reason to turn your back.
     
    The pilot and first officer were given toxicology tests after the crash but I have never heard of a controller being tested for drugs or alcohol following and accident or incident.  We hear of the TSA people reporting pilots when they smell alcohol on their breath and they have been pulled off of airliners and registered massive amounts of alcohol in their systems.  
     
    Since the 70's, control towers that used to be above the terminals were moved across the airport and the public never came in contact with us if we didn't want them around.  At Christmas, pilots used to drop off gifts for us, it's an old tradition.  We got candy and cookies, but the main item offered to us was booze, and lots of it.  Why would you want to give your controller a bottle of scotch, I never understood it.  When I tell people about all the drugs being used on the job, the number one response I get is "Well, it's a really stressful job, isn't it?"  I guess they feel if you are in a stressful job, you ought to be able to shoot up a little heroin now and then.
     
    The FAA knows that the public knows nothing about the functions of a control tower and it is easy to "hoodwink" the masses.  Now you know the truth.
     
    I came across a letter to AvWeb from a controller claiming things are worse now than when I blew the whistle.  AvWeb has been able to confirm her identity.  Her letter is at ....
     
     
    I have been at this for close to 20 years now.  Who is looking out for the safety of the flying public? The FAA ALWAYS says safety is their number one concern. If that was true, they wouldn't have hired one on my co-workers after he had been busted twice in the US Navy for trafficing in drugs. And another who would come to work drunk once a week. They would not have hired me when they knew I had vision problems.  But they fired me when I had seen it all too many times and told my chief we were getting tipped off about random drug testing and over half of us were using on the job.  He was the one who tipped us off the day before the drug team arrived so we could switch shifts with a non-using controller, if we could find one.  And the guy who the chief told was the guy who was dealing all the drugs.
     
    I have played tapes of telephone calls with my co-workers where they admit knowledge of druguse on the job to my Congressman, Duncan Hunter, and to the press in San Diego.  Nothing is done. I have sent the tapes to the Aviation Subcommittee of Congress and to the White House. Nothing is done.
     
    Who is going to stop this from happening again and again. We have been ignored, attacked,  and accused of  having our own agenda by the press, government officials, and  family members of such tragedies as TW800, Swissair111, Egyptair990, and ValuJet 592. Now one of the Comair191 family members has asked me to remove him from my mailing list. 
     
    We are the head wiring experts from Boeing and the Dept. of Defense, airline pilots, two FAA lead airline inspectors, an  FAA security expert who reported problems at Boston Logan and resigned after the FAA cooked his reports (before 9/11), an airline mechanic, and the inventor of the smoke hood for airline cockpits.  Everyone talks about wanting to make sure nothing like this happens again, but when we give them what they need to do something about it, it's "shoot the messenger".
     
    The press could report these crimes, but they refuse to let the people know the truth in our land of the free. I have told reporters that if they get this story past their editor, the next big story they will be working on is the bear problem at the dump. How can our President say people are jealous of our freedom?
     
    Now YOU know the truth about what happened to Comair191.  The NTSB final report will say that the controller had his back turned away from the runway and nothing more. If you don't believe me, look at how the NTSB covered up the crash of VJ592 and screwed over the families there. You can read all about it on my website at....
     
     
    The Congress won't let me testify because they can't have everyone knowing the real story about aviation safety and the way they are watching over the system.  We will just have to hear about more innocent people dying by the hundreds over and over again. I will be wasting my time for decades to come.
     
    Regards,
     
     
    James Bergquist
    Air Safety Activist
    Former USAF and FAA air traffic controller
    Former San Diego Country NATCA representative
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  •  01-30-2007, 1:39 PM 4005 in reply to 3988

    Re: The Lexington ATC was NOT doing traffic count after he cleared Comair 5191 for takeoff.

     
     
    Contact ALPA, DALPA, AFA, APFA, and NATCA unions to lobby aviation subcommittee of congress calling for hearings on aviation safety
     
     
    If anyone is a member of the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA), Delta Airlines Pilots Association (DALTA), Association of Flight Attendants (AFA),  Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), or National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA),  I urge you to post my messages on your union forums. Also contact your union's safety departments and ask them to look into this safety issue.
     
     As you may be able to see, the press, aviation subcommittee of congress, and the family members of past disasters do not want to see an investigation into these crimes that pose an imminent danger to the flying public. The life you save may be your own.
     
    Here are links to the contact  pages..
     
    ALPA
     
     
    and their snailmail address and phone number...
     
    Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l, 1625 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036 (703) 689-2270
     
    Association of Flight Attendants (AFA)...
     
    Email and phone numbers...
     
     
    Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA)...
     
     
    National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA)..
     
     
    I also ask anyone else who wants to get involved to contact Congressman Chandler's office and call for an investigation into the air traffic controller's action in the crash of Comair5191 and ValuJet592, and other aviation-related crimes on the part of the FAA.  Here is his home page..
     
     
    when you get on the email contact page at...
     
     
    list your state as Kentucky and your zipcode as  40383  (you can leave the four digit suffix blank),  this is the only way to assure the message is forwarded and make it to ATTN: Kerry Kohler, his aviation staffer.
     
    If you prefer to call on the phone, here is the link to his office phone numbers...
     
     
    Here is a link to the contact information on the aviation subcommittee...
     
     
    Here is a list of the phone numbers for the members of the Commerce committee...
     
     
    When you contact them, please post in this thread so others can see they won't be the first to step up to the plate.  Also please post if you get any response from them. This will also keep this thread on the first page where others can view it.  You can make a difference. The American people deserve more from their government.
     
    I and my associates are more than willing to testify to the subcommittee.  We know that we would face lengthy prison time for lying to Congress and have been asking to testify for many years.
     
    Thanks You,
     
    James Bergquist
    air safety activist
    former USAF and FAA air traffic controller
    former San Diego County NATCA representative
  •  02-11-2007, 5:58 PM 4035 in reply to 3988

    Re: The Lexington ATC was NOT doing traffic count after he cleared Comair 5191 for takeoff.

    I have finally been able to pin down the time line  for V1 and first impact of Comair 5191. According to a Louisville Courier-Journal article at...
     
     http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070118/NEWS0104/701180456/0/NEWS01
     
    The lone air traffic controller handling the flight was Christopher Damron, who initially told investigators that he saw the plane taxi to the correct runway at Blue Grass Airport, but later changed his account to say he had not been watching.

    "I saw Com191's lights turning toward Rwy 22. I turned around to do the traffic count, heard a crash and saw a fireball west of the airport," Damron wrote in the amendment.

     

    There seems to be a real problem with the time line, CD is making it look like he cleared Comair and saw him taxi toward the runway and immediately turned to do the traffic count. He is telling us he is doing traffic count while Comair is rolling on the runway. 

     

    Now we know more precisely and for the first time exactly when Comair was on the runway. 

     
    Previously, we only knew when he was cleared for takeoff and when the crash phone was activated. We also knew when the controller, CD, was finish talking to the previous departure asking him about the heading ATC had given to avoid weather.  CD says he then turned to do the traffic count.

    Comair was cleared for takeoff at 06:06:12, put the aircraft at takeoff power at 06:06:15.
     
    Comair reached V1 at   06:06:29.    (V1 was set prior to calling for takeoff clearance.  It was set according to the aircraft's weight, field elevation, temperature, and other factors.)  Clay immediately after calling out V1 realizes the problem and says "Whoa". 
    But V1 for the short runway was very close to the departure end of RW26 and just 2 second prior to impact
     
    Here's part of the article....

    As the engines increased their power and the plane began gathering speed on the runway, Polehinke, at the controls, commented at 6:06:16 a.m.: "Dat is weird with no lights."

    "Yeah," Clay replied.

    Thirteen seconds later, Clay said: "V One, rotate," meaning the plane could lift off the ground.

    But he added immediately, "Whoa."

    The sound of impact was less than two seconds later.

    The last sound recorded, from Clay, was an unintelligible exclamation at 6:06:35 a.m., according to the transcript.

     

    CD was talking with Eagle882 up to 06:06:30 when he gave him a frequency change to ARTCC.   At that time, Comair was off the departure end of the runway and just one second prior to impact.  During the entire time Comair5191 was rolling on the wrong runway, CD was distracted with Eagle882 and wasn't watching his runways.  Traffic count could NOT have been a factor.  When CD turned to do the traffic count, the fireball was rising off the departure end of RW26 and CD didn't see that either.  We know he didn't alert the fire crews until 10:08:30 or a full 2 minutes after the crash. If he turned to do the traffic count, then heard the crash and saw the fireball, why did he wait a full 2 minutes to alert the crash personnel?


    If the runway lights are out of service (OTS), it should tell the pilot one of two things, either he is on an inactive runway, which he WAS, or he is on the correct runway and he would have known about the runway light outage from the ATIS as it is a NOTAM.   Comair should have asked the tower about the runway lights.
     
    CD should have been watching to see if Comair is going to take the full length of the runway or take an intersection departure.
     
    Since the taxiway to the approach end of the active runway (RW22) was closed, Comair would have had to make a right turn and back-taxi on RW22, made a 180, and begin his takeoff roll from the approach end to utilize the full length of the runway.  If he is going to opt for an intersection departure, the controller should be giving him the length of remaining runway.  Here is the  photo...
     
    http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/maps/us/map.airport/frameset.exclude.html
     
    According to the CNN article at....
     
    http://edition.cnn.com/2006/US/08/30/plane.crash/
     
    the FAA not only violated the rule about having a second controller on duty, and specifying his role in the tower, that of the radar departure controller,  but spelled out if a second controller is not available, the radar function should be turned over the Indianapolis center.  The controller should not have been talking to any departures other than to give them a frequency change to ARTCC when airborne.  CD should never have been concerned about previous departures and  headings to avoid weather.
     
    The FAA continues to circle the wagons and downplay their accountability for this accident....
     
    "In a statement Tuesday, the FAA suggested that a second controller would not have prevented the accident."  Then they turn around and say...
    "Had there been a second controller present on Sunday, that controller would have been responsible for separating airborne traffic with radar, not aircraft on the airport's runways," the statement said.  (This is a TOTAL contradiction). 
     
    "The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday acknowledged that having only one controller in the tower violated the agency's policy.
    The revelation came after CNN obtained a November 2005 FAA memorandum spelling out staffing levels at the airport. The memo says two controllers are needed -- one to monitor air traffic on radar and another to perform other tower functions, such as communicating with taxiing aircraft. (Text of the memo -- PDF)
     
    When two controllers are not available, the memo says, the radar monitoring function should be handed off to the FAA center in Indianapolis, Indiana.
     
    The FAA told CNN that the lone controller at Blue Grass was performing both functions Sunday in violation of the policy.
    The controller's last look at the jet occurred when it was on the taxiway, according to NTSB investigators.
    "He had cleared the aircraft for takeoff, and he turned his back and performed administrative duties in the tower,"
     
    When the controller cleared Comair for takeoff, he was responsible for scanning not only the runway to insure no vehicles, animals, or other obstructions may interfere with the aircraft's safe takeoff, but also short final and the departure course for no-radio aircraft attempting to land or low-level aircraft or helicopters transitioning the area who may be lost or simply unfamiliar with the area.  Here's a link to the FAA's ATC manual, chapter 3, covering this...
     
    http://www.faa.gov/ATpubs/ATC/Chp3/atc0301.html#6yK28JACK
     
    Read 3-1-3...
     
    3-1-3. USE OF ACTIVE RUNWAYS
    The local controller has primary responsibility for operations conducted on the active runway and must control the use of those runways. Positive coordination and control is required as follows:
     
    and 3-1-5 a.....
     
    a. Ensure that the runway to be used is free of all known ground vehicles, equipment, and personnel before a departing aircraft starts takeoff or a landing aircraft crosses the runway threshold.
     
    This means the controller is suppose to scan his runway while the aircraft is holding short of the approach end waiting for departure or if no other traffic is a factor, before clearing an aircraft for takeoff while the aircraft is taxiing towards the runway and continue scanning the runway as he take the runway and starts takeoff roll, NOT as he issues takeoff clearance when the aircraft is 30 seconds prior to departure on a taxiway and prior to crossing an inactive runway.....
     
    http://www.faa.gov/ATpubs/ATC/Chp3/atc0309.html#3-9-9
     
    3-9-9. TAKEOFF CLEARANCE
     
    NOTE-
    Turbine-powered aircraft may be considered ready for takeoff when they reach the runway unless they advise otherwise.
    REFERENCE-
     
    3-1-12. VISUALLY SCANNING RUNWAYS
    a. Local controllers shall visually scan runways to the maximum extent possible.
    b. Ground control shall assist local control in visually scanning runways, especially when runways are in close proximity to other movement areas.
     
    Upon scanning the runway, he had to have seen that Comair 5191 was not at the approach end of his active runway and was at the wrong runway.  It has been reported that Comair was sitting at the wrong runway for 45 seconds, probably doing his takeoff checklist, before calling for takeoff clearance. Where was this controller's attention at during this time period?  He had just talked to Comair at push back and given him taxi instructions while working as the ground controller.
     
    The controller is required to verify the position of Comair before he clears him for takeoff.  Here is the link again....
     
    http://www.faa.gov/ATpubs/ATC/Chp3/atc0301.html#6yK28JACK
     
    It has been reported that there had been previous incidents at Lexington airport where aircraft had taxied to the wrong runway.  The tower chief should have written a memo to his controllers calling for extra vigilance in relation to this problem.  If an aircraft is unfamiliar with an airport's taxiways, he can request progressive taxi instructions.  Instead of " Taxi to runway 26", the controller would say "Taxi Eastbound on taxiway alpha" and keep a constant eye on the aircraft to give him further instructions as he approached other taxiway intersections and kept watching to insure he got to the active runway.  In this case, all the controllers should have been watching out for this previously reported error.
     
    I have seen all the network aviation experts, James Tillman, Bob Orr, and Robert Hager, to name a few, tell us it's not the controller's responsibility to make sure the aircraft takes off on the active runway.  Congressman Mica, Chairman of the Aviation Subcommittee on Congress, has told us the same thing. WRONG. Look at this..
     
    3-1-7. POSITION DETERMINATION
    Determine the position of an aircraft before issuing taxi instructions or takeoff clearance.
     
    Aircraft have been taking off on taxiways and wrong runways since ATC began in the 1930's.  They are no grey areas in ATC, these responsibilities were cast in stone after the very first occurrence.

    CD has given two stories about the position of Comair.  CD originally told investigators that he saw Comair5191 on RW26 and took 30 minutes to change his mind.  My concern is that a union representative may have been present or the controller would have been allowed to take a bathroom break and contacted union officials who may have told him to change his story.  When I had a federal hearing appealing my 6 Month LWOP, my tower chief and the hub manager were allowed to be present during the entire hearing.  When I called a new witness, they left and it took them 45 minutes to produce them.  It's tampering with witnesses in a  federal hearing.

  •  02-19-2007, 1:14 AM 4051 in reply to 4035

    Re: The Lexington ATC was NOT doing traffic count after he cleared Comair 5191 for takeoff.

    Why would the crew get on the wrong aircraft?....

    Polehinke ordered chicken fingers and took two beers to go within 12 hours of the accident, according to the NTSB file.

    Marx said Comair prohibits pilots from drinking alcohol within 12 hours of a flight. Federal Aviation Administration regulations bar alcohol within eight hours of a flight.

    But Marx said medical records provided to the NTSB show that both pilots tested negative for alcohol.

    What did he do with those beers? Maybe he tested negative for chicken fingers too.


    Here's the link..

    http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/...80456/0/NEWS01
  •  02-19-2007, 12:06 PM 4052 in reply to 4051

    Re: The Lexington ATC was NOT doing traffic count after he cleared Comair 5191 for takeoff.

    I got this response from a commercial airline pilot....
     
    Ummm, maybe because it was the wrong airplane at the gate? All those airplanes look alike. You could get on the airplane, get settled in and then figure out that it was the wrong airplane. Been there, done that. This is a TOTAL non starter issue.

    I am not surprised that there was no alcohol found in the blood. Two beers, 24 ounces. 5% alcohol is just over one ounce of alcohol for the two cans. Alcohol metabolizes at one ounce per hour. Therefore, no alcohol in the blood at flight time.

    Yes, Comair policy is probably 12 hours. I will take your word for that. But even if they ignored that, the FAA reg is 8 hours. Still more than enough time to metabolize the the two beers.
     
    ----------------------------------
    I then posted this...
     
    Since they didn't test him for an hour after the crash, minimum, he could had sucked down those beers and left the empty cans or bottles in the airport shuttle on the way to the airport an hour before the crash, am I right?

    My point being we don't have a clue WHEN he consumed those beers.

    It wouldn't be the first time the NTSB lied about the evidence. They are the ones releasing this information and they supposedly got it from somewhere else.

    It's not the first time the NTSB didn't investigate drunk pilots who crash their aircraft.

    In September of 1978, I was in the post office at Grim Av. and North Park Wy. in San Diego when I heard a crash. I thought it was a traffic accident outside. Then one of the mailmen said a 727 was on fire and crashing. I walk to the door and was the only one who didn't see the plane on fire. I heard it hit the ground only two blocks away. I did see the smoke rising.

    I heard that the flight attendant who got off the flight in Los Angeles said the pilots were drinking into the early morning hours in Sacramento. Then I read this...

    http://www.unfriendlyskies.com/

    halfway down the page, there are links to Rodney Stich's court documents relating to the crash.
  •  02-19-2007, 5:50 PM 4053 in reply to 4052

    Re: The Lexington ATC was NOT doing traffic count after he cleared Comair 5191 for takeoff.

    Here's another possibility. We don't know that those "two beers" were 12oz. cans. They make 16oz. cans.

    What if those "two beers" were 40oz. Mickeys Malt Liquor.

    He could have been up til midnight and sick as a dog.

    At 5:30, he might have had no alcohol in his system, but if he was hungover, that might be a reason to climb on the wrong aircraft.

    My point is that we don't know the size of the "TWO BEERS", we don't know when those beers were consumed, we don't know who consumed them as he may have bought them for Clay and himself.

    If he did comsume them, he violated Comair's policy, and wasn't responsible and didn't show much concern for his passengers.
    _________________
  •  10-01-2007, 8:56 AM 4709 in reply to 3988

    Re: The Lexington ATC was NOT doing traffic count after he cleared Comair 5191 for takeoff.

    Are you really implying that the lone controller in LEX allowed Comair to departure from the wrong runway did so becasue he was drunk and/or high?????   You seem to have an agenda to promote but, please don't distract from the search for the real answers.
  •  06-13-2016, 10:42 PM 14560 in reply to 3988

    Re: The Lexington ATC was NOT doing traffic count after he cleared Comair 5191 for takeoff.

    1 category at the price of 105 500 USD.
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